A century ago it was unthinkable for a large home to not have a butler’s pantry. Even if you didn’t have a butler, chances are if your house was more than say 2,500 square feet, or it had a formal dining room, then it also had a butler’s pantry.
Somewhere along the line, as we were getting rid of the horse stable and coach kept behind the house, we also decided to get rid of the butler’s pantry. This might have been in large part because by the middle of the 20th century, very few people had butlers or live-in home helpers.
The truth is, a butler’s pantry isn’t just a place reserved for the butler. It’s meant to be a transition space between the formal kitchen and the formal dining room. Today the modern butler’s pantry can double up as a prep space pantry.
It might be the place where you keep the fine china and other dinnerware when not in service. It could have a knife block for carving turkeys and things like a prime rib roast. It might also be a great place to keep garnish items and plating accessories. Even something like a parsley plant growing in a sunny southern window can add functional charm and the ability to pinch a sprig for a fresh garnish.